Release Date: April 2012
Genre: Fantasy Roleplay
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux (reviewed on PC)
I love casual games! It’s true I don’t play them that often (I generally choose the bigger games for my gaming time) but I admire them and like how they’ve grown both the gaming business and the gaming community.
I just finished playing Winter Wolves new casual RPG, Loren, The Amazon Princess. Despite its corny title, it’s a solid, fun game worthy of your attention.
While it’s not actually a Flash game, Loren looks like one, which puts it right in the casual game wheelhouse. The 2D art is flat but colorful and evocative, and the animations are so minimal they could have been created in PowerPoint.
When you begin the game, you choose to play as one of two preset characters, each a slave the titular (and I do meantitular) Princess. Her mother, the Queen of the Amazons, has disappeared, and it’s up to you to help her! This quest leads to a much larger story about a long-sleeping evil that threatens the entire land blah blah blah standard RPG tropes blah blah. Who cares, it’s the same story every RPG ever made has.
What makes Loren fun to play is that it manages to be both a true casual game and a true turn-based RPG at once. It’s extremely light on its feet – loading times are nonexistent, and saving happens instantaneously. You can save any time you like, so the game has a pick-up and put-down quality that is a breeze.
Plus it’s an honest-to goodness role-playing game.
Your party can consist of, at most, six members at a time. You meet a colorful band of characters in your adventures, and you end up with far more than the maximum of six, and so you get to decide how you switch the party members in and out, which you can do before every battle.
Battles are turn-based, with both your party and the enemies lining up in two rows – melee in front, casters and ranged in back.
Characters level up individually, and upon leveling, you get extra stat points to spend, as well talent trees to invest in (each character has access to two talent trees). The skills you invest in are meaningful and you can really see and feel how they affect combat.
The game has nice music and acceptable voice acting.
The game also has a lot of story. In a modestly-budgeted title such as this, “a lot of story” means a lot of reading.
A lot of reading. BUT: The story is a good one, and it’s actually worth taking the time to read the vignettes. They also provide you with helpful information.
One of the more interesting aspects of the game is the romance minigame. There are several characters you can romance when you go wind down at camp. The game allows for romance with several different characters, and there is no gender restriction, which is something I always appreciate. The game gives you choices about how explicit you want the romance to ultimately get. I, of course, chose the Extra Spicy option.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by some of the main story battles, it’s a breeze to level up. There are various repeatable missions you can undertake in towns and out in the wilderness. There’s extra treasure and items to be plundered this way, also.
It’s fun to switch your various party members in and out and find which combinations work the best for you.
Spread across four chapters, Loren, The Amazon Princess isn’t a long game, but it still manages to feel epic. The stakes feel high and at times you are forced to make painful choices.
Bargain-priced and full of charming, chewy RPG goodness without ever being too filling, Loren, The Amazon Princessis an admirable, well-built game that I’m happy to recommend. It’s a shame the game won’t be appearing on mobile platforms, where I think it would be completely at home.
Editor's Note: This game contains some nudity. A "cover up" option is available to make the game more appropriate for a younger audience.